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Nutrition 101: Eat Whole Grains for Big Nutritional Gains

July 31, 2017

 By McKenzie Stevens, RD, LD at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown

MARSHALLTOWN— July is national wheat month. So today, the last day of the month, serves as a great time to acknowledge wheat as a great source of carbohydrates.

Although carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in the last few years, the majority of our calories should come from carbohydrates. That is, adults need six to eight servings of grains each day and at least half of these servings should be whole grains.

Besides being a major source of energy, grains are important sources of nutrients such as:

  • B-vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fiber

Eating whole grains as a part of your healthy diet can help to keep bowels regular, plus reduce the risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, whole grains can help with weight management. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of two diets—one whole grain rich and other rich in refined grains. The study found that individuals that ate a diet rich in whole grains lost close to an extra 100 calories per day! This had to do with an increase in metabolism. 

Click here to view recommendations from the USDA to make half your grains whole grains.

To find out more information on how small changes to your diet can help with your weight management goals, contact your UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown dietitians at (641) 854-7530 or dietitians@unitypoint.org

Find out more information about UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown’s Medical Weight Loss Clinic at: https://marshalltown.unitypoint.org/media/cms/Dietitian_Services_C888AAD436DEF.pdf

 

Try this recipe!

Mexican Bean and Rice Salad

Ingredients:

2 Cups cooked brown rice

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans

1 (15 ounce) can black beans

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

1 small onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

1 lime, zested and juiced

¼ Cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

Directions

In a large bowl combine the brown rice, kidney beans, black beans, corn, onion, green pepper, jalapeno peppers, lime zest and juice, cilantro, garlic and cumin. Lightly toss all ingredients to mix them. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Refrigerate salad for one hour. Toss again. Serve.

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